My good bloggy friend, Leslie Botchar aka RoryBore of Time Out For Mom
is here with this week's View.
is here with this week's View.
Les makes me love her because she seems to GET me. That, and she is smart and wise and spiritual.
She is someone I have come to respect.
I don't really want to say very much; I'd rather let her speak for herself.
First, a big thank you to Jennifer for including me in her wonderful The View From Here series. It’s been a great privilege to read all the posts so far. It’s a fabulous thing you have done in creating this space for us to share our stories.
"Being good is hard.....and lonely."
This was not exactly the talk I expected to have with my son on his birthday.
Yet, truth. It's not such a bad gift.
This is going to be one of those hard conversations. The ones parents stay up late at night fretting and sweating over.
How do you explain to a 9 year old, often what a person does/says to you; says more about them, than it does about you? How do you help them understand the reasons behind all the "No's?"
No, we don't do that in our house.
No, we don't talk like that in our house.
No, that is not an activity we will be doing in this house.
No, that TV show/movie/game/music is not appropriate in our home.
Different homes have different rules. That's okay. As long as we all respect and support one another along the way.
I admit though - I struggle.
Is it really fair of me to expect my son to stand up to all the boys who would tease him: for the personal choices his parents have made for him?
It's not a judgement on other parents. If you think it's fine for your 9 year old to have horror movie parties; that is your decision. Personally? Freddy Krueger stills scares the crap out of me at 40 something. Thus, I see no need to expose my son to that kind of gore and violence at this time in his life. (Please, I beg of you though: don’t ever let the words “we just won’t tell your mom” pass your lips. Not Cool, WannaBeCool Parent.)
If he chooses differently later; that's his decision. But for now, it's my job to guard his little eyes and ears. They already hear so much that they should not.
"Why are some kids so mean?"
Well.....that is the million dollar question. I don't know the scientific answer to that son. I can only share what life has taught me.
People are mean because it is easier.
It's easier to spit names like "chicken" - "pussy" at others; then to explain why you are threatened. Or that boundaries are necessary. Especially if you are too young to understand that you actually do want them. In fact - you crave them. And no one is giving you any. Sometimes all that conflict just churns around and causes turmoil, and I guess there is no other option of how to vent it.
It's a whole lot easier to stand there and put someone else down - than fix yourself. I generally find those who are mean, don't like themselves very much. And they especially hate those who DO have confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes when you are strong - you are also a target. That's a fact of life that just sucks. I agree with you there.
It's easier to just go with the crowd - then to stand up for what you believe. Because who wants to wander the playground alone? One day you will figure out what a true friend is. Until then, sometimes it is better to be alone and be right -- than to stand in the crowd for all the wrong reasons.
Sorry dear boy -- but you will have to learn this. It will serve you well. Especially in those moments when you would prefer to Lash Out (because, easier!). Always remember, you do not know the entirety of another's story: It is sometimes not about you at all. Showing compassion is not a weakness.
I’m also sorry, that these lessons may not seem to serve you right now. When the battlefield is in the place where you should be learning and playing. All I can say is: Some fears you face. Like bullies. That's a good place to start. You will encounter them your entire life. That’s another truth the sucks.
Other fears, you just turn your back and walk away. They aren't real! In walking away; they lose their power, and thus any grip on your life. This also works really well with bullies. A bully craves the attention most of all. Don't feed the trolls son - trust mama on that one.
Life is pretty easy, when there are no rules to follow, and nothing to stand for; or against. That does not require any strength – just an ability to follow. No questions asked, or you might no longer be welcomed as one of the pack. And you absolutely should question THAT.
The route you choose absolutely matters. Perhaps when it seems no one is going your way, you will have to lead. You may be the one to start a brand new path. It will probably be hard. Not much fun at first. But you will feel Good About You.
Which is Entirely Worth Something
It has value! And most of that value will be found within yourself. It will start like a tiny acorn, but if you protect it -- it will grow like a mighty oak inside you. This oak will be your Tree of Confidence! It's roots are forming even now. They will allow you to Stand Firm! This is what adults mean when we say things like "A Strong Foundation."
You may not understand or even believe me now, but this is how you will grow into a man defined by his own set of standards and values; and not by anothers' opinion of him. This.Is.Important.
For now, it is my job to guide you in this. To help you become a man of character. To stand strong in your Faith.
That is why there are "No's."
There will be a lot of times when you are tested. When you are tempted. A lot of times that you will fail to stand. This is okay. Even adults falter.
Again, why do we fall?
So that we can learn to get back up again.
Courage is not the absence of fear --- it is going forward even when we are afraid.
And son, you have one thing you never, ever need fear:
You are never alone.
Such a good lesson. Such a good mom!
I told you she's great.
Please leave Les some love here and then visit her: